Popular Mechanics Adirondack Chairs

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Project by Joel89 posted 08-04-2012 07:34 PM 6413 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished my first set of adirondack chairs using the popular mechanics design I found online. I was inspired by someone else’s work on this website who used the same design and made a beautiful set of chairs. I’m happy with how they turned out, and as a beginner woodworker, I learned a lot along the way. As you’ll see in the pics, I don’t have a huge workshop. Since I don’t have a table saw or a jig saw, I made 95% of the cuts using a scroll saw and did the other 5% using a circular saw. Obviously not the ideal way to make consistent, straight-line cuts, but with patience and a lot of sanding it’s doable. I say all that to encourage anyone interested in getting in to woodworking but feels they lack the “necessary” tools and can’t afford to buy them. Anyway, enough rambling…enjoy the pics!

-- Joel

10 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile


17960 posts in 3512 days

#1 posted 08-04-2012 07:44 PM

Those are some real good looking chairs there joel. Where can i buy tickets for the gun show;) ?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View kiefer's profile


5682 posts in 3173 days

#2 posted 08-04-2012 10:33 PM

You did a excellent and professional job on these ,with the tools on hand it is very remarkable .
I am impressed and keep up the nice work and please post it !

-- Kiefer

View GregU's profile


20 posts in 3305 days

#3 posted 08-05-2012 02:25 AM

My compliments! You did an excellent job considering the tools you had….impressive. Greg

View Mork's profile


298 posts in 3281 days

#4 posted 08-05-2012 01:27 PM

Great job! Perhaps my chairs were the inspiration? The only thing I don’t like about mine is the profile on the front of the seat. It looks like you may have modified the radius slightly which is what mine need.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3362 days

#5 posted 08-05-2012 01:33 PM

They are very nice


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Joel89's profile


28 posts in 2684 days

#6 posted 08-05-2012 02:45 PM

Your chairs were the inspiration! So thank you for taking the time to post the project when you did them. I probably wouldn’t have done the popular mechanics design had I not seen the great finished result. As far as the front profile, mine are different only by accident. I didn’t realize there was supposed to be an overhang until I had already attached the bottom slat, so what that meant was the first few slats had to be spaced tighter than the others. Thankfully not too noticeable of a mistake!

-- Joel

View Mork's profile


298 posts in 3281 days

#7 posted 08-05-2012 06:58 PM

Mine seem to have more of a point or hump at the end of the third slat. It isn’t very noticeable but i think it would have been more comfortable with a more round profile. I see what you mean about the overhang but you are right, it isn’t noticeable at all. I’m glad you found my project an inspiration.

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 2638 days

#8 posted 08-14-2012 03:53 AM

No Table Saw? Joe, you are a stud!!! I wouldn’t even have tried it.

View Dave Carlisle's profile

Dave Carlisle

69 posts in 2661 days

#9 posted 10-12-2012 03:46 AM

I started with the same plans from Popular Mechanics. I have made a few tweaks along the way. I have made and sold about 30 chairs since June. I have used cypress and stainless steel screws and added a few nuts and bolts in critical points. I have used Cabot stain found at Lowe’s. Several good colors available. Pics on website:

-- Woodworking Principal

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3373 days

#10 posted 07-13-2017 07:45 PM

This is a beautiful set of Adirondack furniture.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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